It’s safe to say that we have all been suffering from ‘FPS fatigue’, but Titanfall looks like it may just be the cure.

By potter, Posted 18 Feb 2014

The Titanfall hype-train is nearing its final stop, with the release of Respawn Entertainment’s wall-running shoot-a-mech coming to Xbox and PC in March. There are high expectations of the mostly ex-Infinity Ward employees, who reinvented the First Person Shooter once before with 2007’s Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. So, have they done it again?

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As soon as you raise your iron sights and score your first kill in Titanfall you will feel the familiarity of a Modern Warfare or Battlefield game, but it’s here that the familiarity ends. It becomes apparent very quickly that Titanfall is as much about guns and shooting as it is mobility and verticality. Making your way across a map by wall-running or jetpack jumping is done with surprising ease. Soon you will feel like an urban ninja, scaling war-torn apartment buildings and sprinting across rooftops, ready to rain death from above on your enemy. The usual lineup of assault rifle, shotgun and sniper rifle is there, but we’re also seeing innovation in the new Smart Pistol. As soon as your enemies are in range while wielding this fancy new firearm, targets are automatically painted and locked on vital organs, even multiple enemies at once. Dropping Grunts, the non-playable cannon fodder, takes just a single shot, whereas stronger enemies like Spectres and player-controlled pilots will take a couple more rounds. Like the wall-running, the Smart Pistol is easy to use and makes you feel pretty cool when you pull it off.

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Then there’s the Titans, which thankfully aren’t as overpowered as you might think. “Standby for Titanfall” is the coolest thing we’ve heard in a video game so far this year and watching your huge hunk of robot plummet to the ground might be the coolest moment we’ll see in 2014. While there is only one model of Titan playable in the beta (two more have been revealed), already there are different loadout options to consider. Maybe try the ‘Vortex Shield’, raise your robot hand to stop bullets and rockets with a force field, before firing them back at an enemy. Or perhaps you’ll pick Electric Smoke, the best defense against pesky pilots clinging to your mechanical mass. Much like the leveling system in a Modern Warfare game, unlock new weapons and abilities by scoring points in games and completing challenges. Perks make an appearance too, but in the form of ‘Burn Cards’. These cards can be collected and played between spawns, giving you an advantage for your next life, such as extra firepower or a shorter Titan dispatch time. Once you die, your powerup is gone - so players aren’t permanently buffed with overpowered abilities that would make life for a newbie unfair.

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Controversy when Respawn revealed that multiplayer would be 6v6 appears to have been unwarranted, as every game feels well balanced and without a pause in the action. Limiting the total number of players to 12 prevents the maps from overflowing with Titans, while NPC troops do a good job of making the battlefield feel more like a war and not a small skirmish. You’ll often come across a squad of Grunts taking cover behind a bullet-ridden wall or jump through an apartment window to find one of your troops engaged in a full on fist fight. They won’t make a huge difference to your team score and you needn’t worry about being shot down by a sharpshooter Spectre, but they do add to the feeling that you are part of an all-out assault on your enemy and keep the maps dynamic. Speaking of maps, there are just two playable in the beta. Angel City is an urban playground with a Japanese theme. Jump through apartment block windows, dart along rooftops and maybe stop to admire the cherry blossoms. Fracture on the other hand is a bigger and more open map, a crumbling colony, with more space to stretch your arms as a Titan and a few spots for the keen sniper, all while cities collapse in the background.

The game modes are limited for the beta with Attrition as your run of the mill deathmatch and an ‘epilogue’ at the end of each round, offering you an escape from a losing battle by jumping onto a drop ship for a few bonus points. Hardpoint Domination see you fighting to gain control of different points on the map while Last Titan Standing starts everyone in a Titan and it’s a fight to the death - no respawns. It is yet to be seen how robust the final product is going to be in terms of maps and game modes, but given that this is an online multiplayer only game with no tradition single player campaign, here’s hoping there is enough to keep us playing Titanfall well into the year.

Titanfall,Respawn Entertainment,FPS,Preview,Screenshot

I think it’s safe to say that we have all been suffering from ‘FPS fatigue’, but Titanfall looks like it may just be the cure. I am excited to play an online multiplayer first person shooter again. There is enough change and new ideas to make Titanfall feel fresh and it feels like this is the direction the genre needed to go. The current titans of the genre need to start considering how they are going to match Titanfall’s exciting new gameplay, otherwise, like a Titan under a barrage of rockets, they may well be doomed.

William Potter, NoobFeed (@thequiffisdead)

comments powered by Disqus
  • @potter An enjoyable read... I look forward to reading your next piece
    Posted Feb 18, 2014
  • I haven’t had my chance to play it yet, but it does sounds like a decent FPS. I would want to play it, where as I quit playing MW and BF years back.
    Posted Feb 21, 2014


General Information



Platform(s): Xbox 360, PC
Publisher(s): Electronic Arts
Developer(s): Respawn Entertainment
Genres: First-Person Shooter
Themes: Action
Release Date: 2014-03-13

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